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Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 Announces Competitors, TwoSet Violin, and More

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Its been my privilege to work next door to the U.S. team planning this year’s Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 since I began working at the Richmond Symphony in August (our offices share a wall). So I’ve been inspired on a regular basis as hints were dropped about details for this major international musical event, as hints became hopes became plans, applications were made, contracts were drawn up, and all of a sudden here it is: January 22, the day of days, the red letter day!

Today is the day when much of what has been kept secret is finally revealed.




The world’s leading international competition for young violinists

This year, Richmond, Virginia will be the proud host of the biennial Menuhin Competition, which is held every other year in a different location. This will be only the second time that the competition – often referred to as “The Olympics of the Violin” – has been held in the United States (it took place in Austin, Texas in 2014).

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 is hosted by a consortium of institutions:

The Menuhin Competition was founded in 1983 by Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), who was born in New York City and spent most of his life as a performer based in the U.K. Today, he is recognized as one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century. Menuhin founded the competition that bears his name in 1983. The competition features 44 young violinists under 21 in two divisions:

  • Juniors: ages 15 and under
  • Seniors: ages 21 and under

There are 22 competitors in each category, and for this year’s competition a record 321 applicants from all over the world applied.

Today is the day when the identities of the competitors are finally announced to the world. They represent eighteen nationalities residing in sixteen countries:

Yehudi Menuhin, 1937

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States


This video, released today, is a brief introduction to all 44 competitors.


Kayleigh Kim is the only competitor from Virginia selected to participate in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020. We are thrilled to share that Kayleigh is also the winner of the Richmond Symphony League’s 50th Annual Student Concerto Competition, and she will perform with the Richmond Symphony this Saturday, January 25 at our LolliPops concert It’s a Symphony Sing-A-Long!


TwoSet Violin

As if this announcement – anticipated for months – weren’t enough, it was also announced today that the Australian classical music comedy duo Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, known as TwoSet Violin, will attend the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 as roving reporters.

Chances are good that if you are reading this, you understand what a coup this is for Richmond! but in case you are not yet familiar with Brett and Eddy’s antics, get prepared to go down a YouTube rabbit hole.

TwoSet Violin’s Youtube channel, formed in 2013, now has more than 2 million subscribers and more than 390 million views.

TwoSet will share (and lambast) news from the Competition on their social media channels, and they’re also rumored to be planning to participate in an event at VCU featuring motion-capture technology on May 23.


TwoSet Violin demonstrates how to play like Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Hilary Hahn, Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, Lindsey Stirling, Rachel Podger, Shinichi Suzuki, and Stephane Grappelli in under eight minutes.


Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020

For the full program of the competition and affiliated events – and to purchase tickets – visit the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 website here. In addition to the actual competition rounds, masterclasses, concerts featuring the jurors and past competition winners, lectures, recitals, and more, there are many other exciting events happening in Richmond this coming May as part of our city’s focus on all things violin. Here are a few highlights – follow each link for more information, and check out the competition website for the full program!

May 2 Violin Day at VCU

May 14 Opening Gala Concert

May 16 Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

May 18 Regina Carter Quartet

May 20 Mark & Maggie O’Connor

May 21 Sphinx Virtuosi

May 22 Junior Finals

May 23 Senior Finals

May 24 Closing Gala Concert

In addition to the many concerts and other public events presented as part of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020, plans are well underway to provide as many opportunities as possible for students in the Richmond metropolitan area to meet our contestants while they’re here, and to witness their remarkable virtuosity.

Read the full press release on the Richmond Symphony website here.


The renowned Sphinx Virtuosi will perform a showcase concert on May 21 at Camp Concert Hall at the University of Richmond; on May 22 for the Junior Finals at Dominion Energy Center; and on May 24 as part of the Closing Gala Concert (also at Dominion Energy Center).


  1. Margie Way-Kiani says:

    Can’t wait to see what TwoSet has to report!

  2. Miss Coussin Rouge says:

    I bet Brett and Eddy never thought their dream of being at the Menuhin Competition would come true this way ! 😅
    I can’t wait to see what they will share with us. It’s an amazing opportunity for them, but also for the competition itself. They have a very large community, and them putting a spotlight on the Menuhin Competition through social media may draw the attention of people who wouldn’t have gotten interested in it otherwise.
    I think the team planning this year’s competition did great by coming up with this idea !

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